Zero Tolerance For Abuse
Fri, 05/17/2013

With regard to Yoel Moskowitz’s Opinion piece, “Rabbis And Tough Love” (April 19), I think the author’s observations confirm the reality that most abusers are not persecuting individuals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are rarely, if ever 100 percent evil.

Having said that, it in no way should allow us to sacrifice the targets of their abuse. Tough love, in this context, is a myth, and believing that the abuser can be omnipotent in his judgment of who can handle harsh treatment and who needs kindness is equally unrealistic and gives the abuser far too much credit and responsibility over young and defenseless kids. Some of their victims were shattered and could not recover.

Even those not directly victimized are subject to the psychological impact and influence of having witnessed the abuse of others by their mentor. This is also damaging.

In my view, the suffering of even one victim of abuse far outweighs the positive impact that the abuser may have had on any other individuals. There absolutely must be a no-tolerance policy toward placing aggressive abusers, whether physical, psychological, or sexual in charge of our young people. Call me a dreamer, but I believe that there are enough people out there who are non-abusers whom we can trust with the mentoring and education of our children.

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